May 2, 2014 5:30 PM by Jennifer English
The Tucson Chapter of the USBG is expert in crafting cocktails that are reflective of the place we call home. Members are expert at distilling the heart and soul of Tucson into perfect sips. The Tucson Chapter is renowned throughout the country as being fluent in the flavors of agave, tequila and at capturing the spirit of the Southwest. Aaron DeFeo is the Director of the Cocktail program at the Casino Del Sol and the de facto Godfather of the USBG chapter. When I asked him for how we Tucsonans really celebrate Cinco de Mayo he offered this variation on the Paloma cocktail featuring grapefruit juice and tequila called the Rio Bravo Fizz. Both vastly more satisfying and less ordinary than the Margarita ( although Doc Defeo is quick to highlight the intrinsic deliciousness of a well crafted Margarita:being one of the finest craftsmen of them in the country). The Rio Bravo Fizz is the perfect sip to pair with a bright fresh fish taco. We offer up this spiced rubbed salmon taco recipe for a zesty celebration of Cinco de Mayo that will be anything but ordinary. Just like the place we call home. We turned to our friends at Food 52 once again for a contemporary version of a classic fish taco.
Rio Bravo Fizz
1.5 oz Milagro Silver
1 oz grapefruit cordial
0.5 oz aperol
0.5 oz fresh lime Soda
water to taste
Combine ingredients except for soda water in a shaker with ice and shake quickly. Strain over ice in a tall glass and top with topochico soda water. Garnish with an ancho salt rim and a lime wheel. Grapefruit cordial can be made with equal parts grapefruit juice and sugar, while steeping the peels of the grapefruit in the syrup.
Spice rubbed salmon tacos
2pounds of salmon fillets, skin on, center cut, about an inch thick
1 1/2 teaspoon finely ground coffee
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
8-12 small tortillas, corn or flour - your preference
red cabbage mix - see below
avocado-tomatillo salsa - see below
1. Pat your salmon fillets dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl mix together all of the the seasonings (coffee through black pepper). Then, stir in the olive oil. Use a brush to brush this spice mixture all over the tops of the salmon fillets.
2. Grill the salmon fillets skin side down on a well oiled hot grill and cook just until it flakes easily with a fork (the timing will depend a lot on your particular cuts of fish, mine took about 8 minutes). Alternatively, you can broil the salmon just until it flakes easily with a fork. Remove from the heat.
3. Use a spatula to lift the salmon pieces off of their skins and onto a serving platter. Break them into chunks.
4. Quickly warm your tortillas. Then, serve the salmon in the tortillas topped with the avocado salsa and cabbage. (It's easiest to just let everyone assemble their own.) Just add some cervezas or margaritas and dinner is complete!
2 tomatillos, husks removed
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 jalapeno, seeds removed (unless you want some extra heat) and diced
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. chopped cilantro, divided
1 lime, juiced, divided
1 ripe haas avocado
5 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the tomatillos. Simmer about 3 minutes - they'll turn sort of olive green. Remove from the water and allow to cool for a little bit. Then, chop them up.
2. In a food processor, process together the tomatillo, onion, jalapeno, 1 Tbs. cilantro, and half of the lime juice, until fairly smooth. Then, pulse in the avocado - you can process it in until you have a smooth sauce or leave it a little chunky, depending on your preference. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
3. Toss together the sliced red cabbage with the remaining lime juice and cilantro. Sprinkle with a little salt (1/4 tsp. or so) and mix well.
4. Serve the avocado-tomatillo salsa and the cabbage to accompany the fish in the tacos.